Can You Really Sell Your Writing Output On Radio?

I had never given the matter much thought in the past but after an experience I enjoyed lately, I am now rather of the opinion that you can.

It happened this way…

Coinciding with the launch of my latest book ‘Your Retirement Masterplan’ (How To Books ISBN 1857039874) I participated in eleven 10/15 minute live interviews on local radio over a period of just five days.

These promotional interviews were arranged by my publisher’s media consultancy and I didn’t require to visit a single studio to take part; they were all conducted over the telephone, sitting at my desk at home.

Towards the end of the first interview I was conscious of the fact that I had yet to plug the distribution channels for my book.

The presenter beat me to it: ‘In five seconds, where can listeners buy your book?’ Before I could reply he added, ‘Can they order it online?’

‘Yes,’ I said, ‘at’

In the ten subsequent interviews I made a point of ending my spiel with the publisher’s name together with availability at bookstores but I always finished with, ‘…and online at’

Now here’s the interesting part: after the first five sessions I checked out the website to discover that this newly published title had jumped 35 places in the bestseller list for its genre; I checked again after the final interview and it had jumped again but this time by 329 places. In effect, in just a few days it had leapt from position 558 to 194 out of 3123 competing titles.

More than mere coincidence methinks…because books don’t climb the bestseller lists on Amazon unless they are selling in quantity.

So what if you self-publish your output and you don’t have a publicist to arrange radio interviews? Does that mean you are excluded?

No way; I have self-published several books in the past and managed my own promotion.

Here is what you do…

1. Wherever you live in the world you’ll find that the majority of local radio stations are banded together into a single group for cost-effectiveness;

2. Identify the controlling group;

3. Visit the corporate website containing links to all subsidiaries;

4. Pick out those stations within a 500/1000 mile orbit;

5. Visit each local station website individually;

6. Scan the daily programming schedules;

7. Highlight those shows that might identify with the topic of your book;

8. Note the presenter’s name;

9. Email him/her with a well-couched request for a live interview;

10. Follow that up with an identical snail mail request;

11. Follow that up with a telephone call (you’ll get to speak to someone in authority);

12. You know your topic inside out; speak up with confidence and you’ll get your interview; maybe not straightaway but, if you sell yourself and your project professionally, you’ll be logged into and up-and-coming slot in the station scheduling.

Go for it…it’s free!

Postscript: Those eleven live interviews did more than sell books on radio – they resulted in several direct invitations to repeat my pitch on local television.


As your book(s) become available online and offline your reputation as an expert in your particular subject will flourish. This brings with it additional opportunities for attracting incremental income; opportunities such as…

1. Public speaking engagements;

2. Book reviewing;

3. Magazine article contributions;

4. Foreign translations of your work;

5. Book club sales;

6. Public Lending Right (PLR); you get paid every time some borrows your book from a public lending library;

7. Fees under licence (when another publisher reproduces your work);

8. Broadcasting rights;

9. Audio tape and disc rights.

The fees you earn are incremental to your book royalties and they soon mount up over a period of time. My new creative writing course ‘Secrets to Churning Out Bestsellers’ contains several chapters on how to milk these additional income streams.

Jim Green is a bestselling author with an ever-growing string of niche non-fiction titles to his credit. ‘Secrets to Churning Out Bestsellers’ is his latest dynamic creative writing course and is available for immediate download at and

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